'Zakiyyah Zakariyya' Challenges Sharon

Published August 30th, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

Egyptian director Raed Labib and actor Ibrahim Naser have begun shooting their new comedy film Zakiyyah Zakariyya Fil Barlaman (Zakiyyah Zakariyya in Parliament), on the heels of the big success achieved by the title character on the stage, according to the daily Al Ahram. 

Costarring in the film along with Naser, who plays the character of Zakiyyah Zakariyya, are Aida Riyadh, Yousef Daoud, Adel Al Far and Mohammed Abu Daoud. The film was written by Shamekh Al Shandawili. 

The play Zakiyya Zakariyya, which is currently being staged in Cairo, has achieved great success. Zakariyya is known to the public via the program Candid, which has been aired for a few years by the Arabic channels. 

He has become a patriotic hero through the play, which advocates for the Palestinian Intifada. Although the play satirizes the Arab plight, its main target is Israeli premier Ariel Sharon. 

The play portrays a house of corrections where children are detained, hinting at the imprisoned Palestinian people. The prison doctor, Haroun, is so evil that all the inmates call him Sharon. He kills the children and sells their organs with the help of collaborators. 

Zakiyyah gets a job at the house of corrections, and sympathizes with a girl named Nidal. Sharon, in collaboration with his agents, has forged documents to steal the land Nidal inherited from her ancestors. The evil doctor also makes off with the child’s right to life. 

Zakariyya backs the kid and curses Sharon. Amid shows, jokes and clowning, the play makes a plea to stop normalization of ties with Israel. 

The director told the London-based Arabic daily Al Hayat that the cast had noticed the big response of the audience to scenes and statements making fun of Sharon. The director added that the cast had decided to expand the play, since “everyone hates Sharon and considers abusing him a patriotic act.”  

The director pointed out that the Egyptian censors had no objection to the play’s title, theme or script. 

At the end of the play, Naser tells Yousef Daoud, who plays Sharon’s character: “God willing, your end will come in the Belgian court.” – Albawaba.com  


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